Battling the light at Casa Loma
Steve Russell - Staff Photographer
The say that Casa Loma might be haunted, but last month the only demon I battled in the Castle on Spadina was the one that every photographer fears, the absence of light.
The challenges faced while doing a history piece on Casa Loma's organ during the screening of a silent film were daunting!
During the 100 minutes of the show, I had to shoot video, stills and recorded audio just in case.
I didn't use a tripod, because I only had a limited amount of time and did not want to waste time setting up and tearing down.
The next performances on the organ will be a concert by Simon Gledhill on March 6, 2012 and a silent movie screening of the 1928 French silent classic "The Italian Straw Hat" on April 2, 2012.
John Struve tunes the 1,400 pipes that make up the Wurlitzer Organ at Casa Loma by gently tapping little plunger wires. The Toronto Theatre Organ Society performs on the pipe organ accompanying the silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Casa Loma.
Organist John Lauter rehearses along with the Silent Short film "The Hunter" before the doors open in the Great Hall. I was feeling really great about the shoot until I realized that the lights would be off for the actual performance. That scared me more than any ghost that might be lurking in the halls.
With most of the light shut off for the movies, the halls of Casa Loma seem spooky. Especially with the Toronto Theatre Organ Society performing on the pipe organ accompanying the silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
"If the crowd forgets about me, then I know I've done my job, says John Lauter as accompanies the John Barrymore in 1920s "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" on the Casa Loma organ. The crowd was challenging to capture. I was shooting video, recording audio and did not want to carry an array of equipment and did not have the proper mount for my tripod. So everything was shot handheld.
My favourite from the night. In the Great Hall, John Lauter accompanies the John Barrymore in 1920s "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" on the Casa Loma organ. The Toronto Theatre Organ Society performs on the pipe organ accompanying the silent film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Hear the organ in the video below,